Ramadan is a terrific opportunity for chefs to increase sales as people flock to eat out after their fast. But if you want to make sure it’s your restaurant they’re queuing up for, you need effective marketing. Here are some ideas to get you going.
For your marketing to really strike a chord with potential customers, your restaurant’s identity needs to be clear and distinctive in your promotional material. Focus on what sets you apart and what will appeal to your target guests. This could be your emphasis on healthy eating, or traditional dishes and décor. If you’re a family-run business, it’s a good idea to play that up at Ramadan. After all, the holy month is all about spending time with relatives.
It’s not just what you say that will draw diners in, but how you say it. Upmarket venues will want to make sure language is suitably formal. But if you’re after a wider clientele, a more approachable tone will probably be better. Active, positive language, such as “try our Iftar specials” or “visit us today” will get people’s attention. But make sure your messaging doesn’t sound too much like an out-and-out sales pitch, particularly at a time of spiritual reflection like Ramadan.
Certain phrases and images will instantly conjure up festive feelings in potential diners. Include the likes of “Ramadan Kareem”, “Iftar” and “Eid Mubarak”, and pictures of Arabian teapots and lanterns, everywhere from your menus to Facebook updates. You can use dishes shaped like the crescent moon to signify Ramadan in your leaflets, for instance. But don’t go overboard! Try to avoid too many seasonal visual clichés.
A straightforward poster or local newspaper advertisement showing your location and opening times is fine, but if you really want to stand out, try something a bit different. Charity and generosity are a key theme in the holy month. So why not make it clear in leaflets, street signs, window posters and more that you’ll be donating a portion of your sales to a deserving cause or giving excess food to a food bank.
There’s a huge increase in social media and other online activity about food during Ramadan. The number of views of cooking videos on YouTube rises by 30%, for example. Capitalise on this by putting out recipes, behind-the-scenes kitchen videos and other posts on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to raise awareness of your business.
Another idea is marketing your most impressive desserts as gifts diners can take home for relatives. Or appealing to diners who are bored of eating much the same dishes all month by focusing on your wide range of frequently changing specials.
Help customers capture the Ramadan spirit of sharing by offering discounted or complementary sharing plates and buffets. Competitions for free meals and offers limited to specific time frames within the holy month will drum up enthusiasm in the weeks before.